Healthcare administrators are also regularly faced with situations that require them to make ethical decisions. Some of these moral dilemmas include:
For example, administrators may be forced to choose between buying new equipment and hiring more nursing staff or the hospital may be faced with a medical malpractice lawsuit in which administrators must be mindful of patient needs, perhaps choosing to terminate a doctor or surgeon as a result of a poorly-made medical decision. In all of these situations, administrators should ideally side with what is ethically correct, as opposed to simply acting in the best interest of hospital finances or PR.
Administrators should also be mindful of how their decisions are affected by current healthcare legislation. According to Health Affairs, there are three main areas of opportunity (other than the ACA) for bipartisanship for the next Congress and administration: health care programs due for reauthorization or funding extension; areas with bipartisan support and momentum in the current Congress; and areas with possible common bipartisan ground and potential tangible benefits. A few of the areas with potential bipartisan support include coordination of long-term care services, affordable prescription coverage, and public health infrastructure improvement.
One of the advantages of becoming a healthcare administrator is that you’ll have an opportunity to help develop departmental goals and objectives, while also working to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare services delivery, on a hospital-wide level. Also, there are more titles than chief operating officer (COO) or chief economic officer (CEO). Rather, it’s possible to enter into a number of different areas, including nursing home administration, clinical management, health information management, and assistant administration.
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If you’re interested in getting involved with the administrative side of a healthcare facility, know that there are a number of areas of specialization available to you. Moreover, you’ll feel the satisfaction of getting involved in an industry that is in great need of qualified professionals to join its ranks—especially considering the burgeoning elderly population, due to a large number of aging Baby boomers among us. You’ll be comforted in knowing that your level of job security will be relatively high, as well. Finally, you’ll have the potential opportunity to make a real difference, on a policy level—something that isn’t possible for nurses or doctors.
If you’d like to learn more about careers in healthcare administration, check out the American College of Healthcare Executives website, which offers a number of education and credential-related resources, for your reference.